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The Triple Energizer Meridian and the Mysterious and Mystical TCM Triple Energizer (aka san jiao, sanjiao, triple warmer, triple heater, triple burner, triple energiser, three heaters) Organ


My name is Dr Louis Gordon and I am an acupuncturist. I practice acupuncture from ANTRAC Acupuncture Clinic in Middle Ridge, Toowoomba, 4350, Queensland, Australia. Just as vibrant clean water bubbling up from a natural well is vital to sustain life, my WELLNESS information will help YOU to sustain a healthy vibrant life beaming with optimal wellness. Call for more information on (07) 4636 6100.

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Powerful Acupoints on the Sanjiao Channel or Sanjiao Meridian include Sanjiao 5, Sanjiao 6 and Sanjiao 17. What is the Confusion Regards the Origin and Functionality of the Mystical  and Mysterious TCM Triple Energizer (aka san jiao, sanjiao, triple warmer, triple heater, triple burner, triple energiser, three heaters, three burning spaces, tri-heater)? 

One of the 12 Main Organs of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is surrounded in mystery. In keeping with that theme of enigma, it has numerous names, including san-jiao, sanjiao, triple heater, triple burner, triple warmer, triple energizer, three heaters, tri-heater and the three burning spaces. While the Triple Energizer is an ORGAN, many believe that it is NOT an organ, but rather a series of biological functions that occur throughout the body. I have spent 4 years researching this misunderstood organ, and have written a book which proves that the Triple Energizer is an actual organ complex. 

Below are some citations from the book titled The ‘Mystical’ TCM Triple Energizer. Its Elusive Location and Morphology Defined. This original book is crammed full of fascinating information that confirms that the ancient authors of many traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) classics were aware of medical and scientific information that is only now being verified by modern science. This user-friendly enlightening book is perfect for anyone wanting to know more about the mysterious TCM organ called Sanjiao. The book can be purchased securely by clicking the ‘BUY NOW’ button at the bottom of this page. 

2.7 Diverse Descriptions of the Origin and Functionality of the Triple Burner

From Chen Nianzu, The Three Character Classic of Medicine (Yixue Sanzi Jing), Qing Dynasty: The term triple burner refers to the qi that circulates in the upper, middle, and lower burners. Burner means heat. Only when the entire body cavity is permeated with hot qi can the body’s water ways be open and regulated. The triple burner is the fu organ that forms a zang/fu pair with the pericardium, and thus belongs to the phase element fire. . . . It is for this reason that the triple burner is called the official in charge of uninhibited water flow. Tang Zonghai, cited above (12), believes that the ‘root of the triple burner is in the kidney, more precisely right between the two anatomical kidneys. Right there is a greasy membrane that is connected with the spine’. Sun Yikui, on the other hand, believes that ‘the so-called triple burner is embedded in the greasy membrane of the diaphragm’. At least, they have a greasy membrane in common. Shen Jin’ao proposes that ‘the triple burner is actually the corridor above and below the stomach’. Li Dongyuan states, ‘The triple burner is an entity that has a name but no structural form.’ Chen Nianzu believes the Triple Burner affects the entire body and ‘is called the official in charge of uninhibited water flow’. There is such diversity of opinion concerning the origin, nature, and function of the Triple Burner from these learned authorities. How is one to comprehend the true nature of the Triple Burner? I hope my book will set the matter straight.


2.9 Hooray! There Is General Agreement about a Major Role of the Triple Energizer

The Triple Burner performs a major role in all the various phases of digestion and assimilation and administers the body fluids and their distribution throughout the body. The association with the transformation of liquids and the formation of body fluids is constantly reaffirmed in the physiology and pathology of the San Jiao. This intimate relationship with water in its diverse forms is accentuated by the traditional titles attributed to each of the three heaters—Wu, mist, humid vapors for the upper heater; Ou, maceration for the middle heater; and Du, canal, conduit for the lower heater. So fortunately, in this regard, there is general agreement that the Triple Energizer regulates the various body fluid forms throughout the body. Now what about the elusive form or morphology of the Triple Energizer? The Nei Jing said the Triple Energizer had a form. Then along came the Nan Ching, which said that the Triple Energizer ‘had a name but no form’. It cannot be both ways. The organ complex either does have a form or does not have a form, so which is it? Chapter 3 discusses this matter.

Modern translations of Chapter 8 of the Su Wen translate the ancient classical text to include terms like waterways, water passages, watergates, water channels, irrigation, ditches, and sluices which are all obviously associated with the reticulation of water and fluids. So the Triple-Energizer Metasystem is obviously intimately associated with water and fluid distribution throughout the body. Interestingly, while the San Jiao is a Fu of the Fire Element, along with the Small Intestine, it clearly embraces waterways and body fluids too, along with Fire. Undeniably, it is this intricate combination of water and fire which allows the Triple Heater to circulate the various forms of Qi, including Yuan Qi and liquids in the specific proportions required to invigorate and sustain all the other organs distributed through the three cavities and to fulfill all the diverse functions within the three cavities necessary to sustain life. I believe that San Jiao fluids that flow through the ditches and sluices embody the inclusion of all extracellular fluids, including blood and lymph and the interstitial fluids. Other body fluids—such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), synovial fluid, peritoneal secretions and pleural secretions, digestive juices, mucosal secretions, amniotic fluid, etc.—are all under the control of the Triple-Energizer Metasystem.


7.7 The Defensive Qi Comes from the Lower Heater

In answer to the question about why the Defensive Qi comes from the Lower Heater, on pages 86–87 of the book Heart Master Triple Heater, Rochat de la Vallée (11) answers that it is because not all the useful components have been extracted at the level of the Middle Heater. As the partially processed foods and drinks descend, a continuance of the removal and refining process persists, and especially, there is a transformation within the Lower Heater. Subsequently, the Nutritive Qi is derived from the clear component, and the Defensive Qi is derived from the unclear component. Pertaining to the free circulation and the cooperation of both the Nutritive Qi and the Defensive Qi, she then explains that this exemplifies ‘the collaboration of all the organs which is in fact called the triple heater’.

When she states above ‘the collaboration of all the organs which is in fact called the triple heater’, she reconfirms her belief that the Triple Heater is not a dedicated stand-alone organ. She believes that the Triple Energizer is the combined function associated with all the various organs and their individual processing and distribution of the various synthesized components of food and fluids throughout the body. I disagree with this construct completely and absolutely believe the Triple Heater (Triple-Energizer Metasystem) is a standalone organ complex and has a defined morphology and location that permeates the entire body in the form of collagenous fatty membranes in affiliation with the Primo Vascular System.


(11) Larre, C., and E. Rochat de la Vallée, Heart Master Triple Heater (Norfolk: Monkey Press, 1998).

(12) Anonymous, ‘The Kidney Network and Mingmen: Views from the Past’. Available from <>.


I wish to sincerely thank Dr Paul U. Unschuld for the selfless and tireless work he has committed to make many ancient Chinese medical classics available in English for study and research. My book is based predominantly around his scholarly work ‘Nan-Ching: The Classic of Difficult Issues’. I also wish to sincerely thank Professor Unschuld for permission to use citations of his translation in my book. His translation of ‘Nan-Ching: The Classic of Difficult Issues’ can be purchased from the following link:

To Securely Purchase the Book, Click the ‘BUY NOW’ Button!




             Sanjiao’s Mystique Demystified


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